The Seattle Public School system said it was shutting down for an extra day on Friday because of staffing shortages, stress from re-opening after a year of lockdown and COVID requirements that are creating a strain the schools can’t quite cope with said the Seattle Times.
As part of our effort to ensure the highest quality environment for student learning, all Seattle Public Schools will be closed Friday, Nov. 12. There will be no in-person or remote instruction. Schools will close on Thursday in honor of Veterans Day. https://t.co/WBpLhz43pU pic.twitter.com/tQzx4NNPzh
— Seattle Public Schools (@SeaPubSchools) November 9, 2021
“The number of leave requests on a Friday after a federal holiday is indicative of the fatigue our staff and students are experiencing in these months of the return to classroom,” Seattle officials said, according to the local paper. “The four-day weekend may offer physical, mental, and emotional restoration.”
The district tweeted out an announcement saying that they were canceling classes “to ensure the highest quality environment for student learning.”
The state requires all state employees, including teachers, to be vaccinated, but the district said that 99% of its staff is vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Fox News.
“SPS, along with other school districts across the country, is experiencing historic staff shortages, which are felt even more deeply as students returned to socially distant in-person learning this school year,” said local King5 News. “Districts across Washington state have turned to incentives and recruiting tactics to target new staff, substitutes and reduce the burden on existing teachers.”
The solution, said King5, is for children between ages 5-11 to get vaccinated.
“However, the burden from the pandemic will likely begin to ease as more children ages 5-11 begin getting the newly approved pediatric COVID-19 vaccine,” said the local TV news station.
Seattle Children’s Hospital began offering COVID vaccinations this week for kids ages 5-11 News under approval by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said local Fox 13.
“The hospital told FOX 13 News they plan to administer 100 vaccines on Tuesday,” said the news station. “They have about 600 available but said they will be used for second doses in a few weeks and also for those getting the shot later this week.”